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Old 09-19-2011, 09:31 AM
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Default winter camping tips

I heard the Spooky Night Run was going to include a camp out this year..

so figured a quick brainstorm of "best cold weather camping" advise might be appropriate? My personal favorite is the double sleeping bag- I don't have one of those nice 0 bags, but have found that a 20 inside a 20 will keep me pretty toasty. what else do you guys do?
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Old 09-19-2011, 09:51 AM
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-A warm bottle in your insulated boots keeps them from freezing overnight. Snuggling up with a warm liquid in a *leakproof* container makes those sleeping bags extra toasty. Some folks even bring an empty bottle to bed so they can add warm liquid to it during the night... Not too sure how I feel about that one myself.

-Wear a hat to bed.

-Don't forget to hydrate, you need it just as much during the winter as you do during the summer.

-Dress in layers, stay dry. Wool retains over 80% of its insulative value even when it is wet, cotton kills.

-Wrap orange duct tape on anything that could potentially fall into the snow, makes it easier to find when you do drop it
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Old 09-19-2011, 10:17 AM
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A foam/inflated type sleeping pad. Not a plain old air mattress. This did more to keep me warm while elk hunting than any other device (including a cot and 3 sleeping bags). At -15 I was warm.

X2 on wearing a hat to bed - that is HUGE.
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Old 09-19-2011, 10:25 AM
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I like filling Nalgene's with boiling water, slipping them into wool socks and throwing them in my bag when it's cold out. Nice hot water bottle like rick mentioned.
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Old 09-19-2011, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by SteveH View Post
A foam/inflated type sleeping pad. Not a plain old air mattress.
The key here is closed cell vs. open cell. Closed cell foam is much warmer. However it's dense and does not pack. The difference is immediate between open and closed cell foam.

Those huge air mattresses are just terrible in the cold and a lot /worse/ than just sleeping on the ground. The air inside will approach the air temp and sleeping bags almost always have more insulation on top than bottom... The next best is open cell Thermarest-type foam that has lots of small cells. What you are trying to do is prevent air from circulating between warm and cold sides. Thermarests at least warm up in the middle a little.

A Ridge Rest (EVA-type foam) under you is worth 15 degrees of sleeping bag, maybe more. In the 'Nest (which is essentially like sleeping on top of a huge air mattress) we put a layer of Ensolite and an old wool blanket under the mattress, which is 3" of closed cell foam (not all RTTs and campers use closed cell foam, actually most probably don't). Ensolite is the blue cheap-o foam pads at every outdoor store, pretty sure Moses slept on that stuff wandering the desert.
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Old 09-19-2011, 10:57 AM
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Biggest issue has been mentioned. A self inflating air/foam pad and a beanie cap will go a long way towards sleeping all night! The largemouth Gatoraid bottles are indispensible when you are warm and just dont feel like getting out of your bag when the liquid you over indulged in wants to be free at 1, 3 and 5am! I have several bags but my (my wife now claims it's hers) all cloth -35 Elk hunting bag is the absolute shiznit! Its bulky but its very warm, not slick, and will dry is it gets wet. It is bulky but that's a small (OK...large) trade off. Down bags are the best but they are slick so you'll always end up at the bottom of the slope your tent is on and if they get wet somehow, they wont dry out quickly. Cheap arse +20 bags are slick and drafty. You can always wear sweats to bed and use a cheap bag but if your back or head get cold you will not sleep!
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Old 09-19-2011, 12:49 PM
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Alright, I think we've uncovered why I froze my butt off at BFE in March.. I was on one of those inflatable cots- being off the ground is great, the air mattress is comfy, but I shivered the whole night-. So if I put some type of closed cell foam mattress on top of that, I'd be way better?

Yes, wearing a hat.. that one has proven invaluable for Gavin, he loves it.
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Old 09-19-2011, 01:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nakman View Post
Alright, I think we've uncovered why I froze my butt off at BFE in March.. I was on one of those inflatable cots- being off the ground is great, the air mattress is comfy, but I shivered the whole night-. So if I put some type of closed cell foam mattress on top of that, I'd be way better?
Yup, the general rule of thumb is that whatever you're sleeping on easily accounts for 1/3 of your staying warm. The way a sleeping bag works is by creating dead air space using insulative loft; the more body heat it keeps in, the warmer you stay. You actually crush most of the loft below you when you are in a sleeping bag, so there is very little dead air space and you lose heat through conduction to whatever you're sleeping on. An air mattress or open-cell sleeping pad does not insulate the air inside of it very well, so the air inside becomes the same temperature as the ambient air, and the lack of dead air space below you means your warmth will be sucked out from below!
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Old 09-19-2011, 01:52 PM
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Old 09-19-2011, 01:55 PM
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ditch anything that isn't a designated sleeping mat. air mattresses and the like are for cabins and guest rooms.

I understand the quest for cush, but you don't really get both, cush or warmth. pick one.
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